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Boys vs. Girls.

Not long ago I was in the doctor’s office with ZigZag and was struck by something I’d never truly considered before. Here was my son, waiting for his appointment, being a bit rowdy with the toy trucks and completely oblivious to the fact he’d taken over the waiting room from a quiet little girl who ran to her mom as soon as ZigZag began to play. Fortunately it was a slow day and we were the only people in the office aside from this little girl and her mom.

Maybe it’s because I have boys.

Most of the girls we know have brothers so they can hold their own but boys and girls are so different! I know. I know. That’s kind of a ‘duh’ moment for most of you.

This little girl was so completely shy. She hid under her momma’s legs and played with one of the smaller cars. By the time she was called back for her appointment she had stepped out a bit – she was playing ‘catch’ with ZigZag by rolling the cars back and forth to each other.

But it dawned on me, my son didn’t even notice her until I pointed her out. Not that I’m trying to marry him off at the age of five or anything like that but that he was so wrapped up in his world that he couldn’t spare even a moment to see someone else.

Often times we, as Christians even, get so entirely wrapped up in what’s going on around us – in our own little worlds – that we don’t notice those around us. Those people we love to keep up with on Facebook but only if their status update shows up in our news feeds. Or those who we see only at holidays or birthdays, family reunions or funerals. Or those we talk to only when it pertains to our own dire need right at that moment.

When is the last time you called someone just to say hello?

and truly meant it in a ‘just saying hi’ kind of way?

Or smiled at a stranger?

Or helped someone carry their items?

Some things I’ve learned recently by stepping outside of myself to check on the well-being of others:

Two amazing people are officially parents and bringing their son to his forever home as I type this.

One amazing young woman left her home for Wales to spend the next nine months training in a foreign country to be a missionary to Africa permanently at the end of that time.

Many of my friends are engaged or pregnant – too many to count at this point! (Thank you Oklahoma Blizzard!)

The point is

the world is bigger than you and me

Period.

It’s bigger than all of us and it’s time we set aside our own agenda’s and started actually caring about those around us.

I can hear you now, “but what can I do? I’m just one person”.

So is Jesus.


Five.

So hard to believe it’s been five years already since my little ZigZag was born! FIVE. Such a big boy number! My littlest dude is growing up was too fast.

And by fast, I mean EVERYTHING he does, he does fast! And in some cases, it’s SUPER fast!

I just want to say, “Slow down!” but this is how it’s been since he was born…

If you have no interest in birth stories you can stop reading now and not hurt my feelings one bit. If you opt to read further you do so at your own risk. Consider yourself warned.


*flashback 5 years and 15.5 hours ago*

It’s morning, roughly 8am. I’m all snuggled up in bed but my bladder is awake and not letting me doze happily back off to sleep so I roll over in order to get out of bed and make my way to the bathroom when suddenly something gushes out of me. So I rush to the bathroom all the while thinking to myself, “I have better bladder control than that!” I start knocking on the wall separating the bathroom from the bedroom I shared with my then husband in an effort to wake him up. Panic set in and simple knocking turned to pounding soon accompanied by yelling, trying desperately to wake him up and quite frankly more than a little afraid to stand up. By this point I was fairly certain my water had broken.

Finally I woke him up. It took forever (really only about 10 minutes but when you’re in labor every single minute can feel like 10 minutes!). He got himself and E-man dressed and grabbed a few minor things as we headed out the door. We took the loop around town to get to the hospital as it was the fastest speed limit and the least about of traffic. The whole way there he kept saying things like, “I can’t believe you’re in labor” and “Are you sure you didn’t just lose bladder control?”.

Somewhere in the middle of the drive I get on the phone with my mom (a travelling NICU nurse at the time), trying not to panic even more but still almost screaming, “I think my water broke and we’re going to the hospital!” My mom had just headed back to Reno (or maybe Los Angeles area – I can’t recall) after spending her birthday week celebrating at home and had very little if any sleep, just calmly said, “Get to the hospital and have them check you then call me and let me know for sure”.

 

*Flashback 12 hours prior to the evening before*

Location – the local bowling alley

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, at 8 months pregnant – roughly 4 weeks from my due date – I am in a bowling alley with a group of wonderful people from our church. In all fairness, I only threw the ball 4, maybe 5, times. One of the couple had their 4 year old daughter with them so I let her do most of my turns. It was a great (apparently labor inducing) night!

*Fast forward to our arrival at the hospital*

After what is still probably the longest drive I’ve ever taken (only 20-30 minutes but like previously stated everything is longer when you’re in labor), we arrive at the hospital, park the car, and rush in through the Emergency Room doors. The girl behind the counter stays in her seat and looks up from her cell phone long enough to say, “That way” as she points us down the hall towards the elevators. I wasn’t nice enough to tell her I was probably leaking amniotic fluid all over her floor and could use a wheelchair.

We make it up to the 2nd floor and begin the Labor & Delivery triage. Somewhere in the middle of this chaos it comes out that we were headed to the hospital that day anyway to register and get all of the paperwork done that is necessary for delivering a baby. Apparently the birth of a baby DOES come with a book, just that book is nowhere near related to an instruction manual for how to raise said baby. In the midst of getting vitals (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and the addition of fetal monitors to monitor baby’s heartbeat) one of the nurses commented that I had probably just lost some bladder control since I wasn’t having contractions and I was still so far from my due date. Rather than voice my opinion (which we found out shortly after was fact), I just glared at her thinking, “I don’t normally run around with wet pants and fluids gushing out of me!” but again, I was nice.

After getting my vitals and getting me settled into a triage bed one of the nurses came in, ran some swabs in the fluid, and confirmed that yes, it was amniotic fluid and yes, I was in labor. Soon after I was wheeled into a much bigger, private, delivery room. I also learned that once the water breaks or amniotic fluid has leaked or gushed out the baby has to be delivered within 24 hours. There are exceptions to this as with everything but I won’t be detailing those here.

*Fast forward a couple of hours*

Near lunch time, about 11 or 1130am, I start getting hungry but because I’m in labor the nurses won’t let me eat. I’m also not having contractions and this is roughly 3 hours into labor. No contractions. The nurses called my doctor (he’d been briefed when we came in on what was going on) and he okay’d some induction meds, namely pitocin, in order to get the contractions going. And boy did that get the contractions going! I soon requested an epidural and consequently discovered that epidural’s don’t work on back labor which is where most of my contractions were.

By this point the word had gotten out that baby boy #2 was on his way and visitors started stopping by. Some brought gifts, one good friend brought toys for E-man to play with since he was somewhat stuck in the delivery room with us – at least until the actual pushing started. And my mom had been updated and was working with her company to get home as fast as possible.

Many hours, MANY HOURS, went by and I’m still in labor, still have contractions, and the nurses are still coming in about every hour or so to check how far I have dilated. My doctor had also poked his head in at least once to say hello and to check things out himself.

I have to interject a note here that when a woman is in labor ALL sense of modesty goes completely, 100% out the window.

At one point, a nurse told me that the baby hadn’t turned into the proper position for birthing, he was still breach, and that I should lay on my side in order to help him turn. I did what she suggested, anything really to avoid a C-section. What I didn’t know then but quickly learned, is that epidural’s are somewhat dependent on gravity. So, as I laid on my side my epidural was going all to the side I was laying on which meant that, by the time I rolled back onto my back, one side was completely numb as it should be and the other had near normal feeling in it

I know we had lots of visitors and frankly I don’t remember who visited before ZigZag came and who visited after. I do know that my brother picked my mom up from the hospital just before 11pm and brought her straight to the hospital. We’re all just hanging out and talking. Or rather, my mom, brother, husband, and my good friend are hanging out talking and I’m trying to be nice and listen to them having fun. I remember at one point grinding my teeth because the pain was hurting so very bad.

I don’t recall the time but I do remember asking people to leave, everyone except my mom and my husband. And of course doctors and other random hospital staff.

Finally, it was time to push. And push. And push. And seven minutes later they (nurses I’m assuming) were putting a warm blanket on my tummy and handing my baby over.

Now, in a “perfect” setting I would have cuddled him up and started nursing and being all mother-y to him. In reality, the blanket was so warm and I was so very tired from the pain of the contractions to the pushing and everything else that when they put the blanket on my tummy I literally tried to push it away. I only vaguely remember this (may have bit a smidge delirious) but I remember pushing the blanket away, not realizing it was for the baby just thinking that I was entirely too hot for a blanket, and a nurse saying something akin to, “but don’t you want your baby?”. I did hold him then, kind of like a little child holds a kitten.

Once the cord was cut, he was whisked away to a little baby bed  brought into the room specifically for him. And then the nurses just walked away from him.

I thank God nearly every day that my mom was there and I truly believe that ZigZag waited on his grandma to arrive before he was born. Once the nurses walked away my mom walked over to ZigZag and started working on him. I was completely out of it at this point but I have been told that he wasn’t breathing or wasn’t breathing well and that he failed his APGAR’s. I don’t have the official APGAR score from the hospital so I have no idea what the nurses working that day have as his rating. I do know that my mom was the first person to do anything with him besides lay him in a bed and that she is the reason he started breathing right and did not go to the  NICU.

So from my water breaking at roughly 8am to the time he was delivered, just after 1130pm, 15.5 hours passed. Somewhere around midnight or so I finally cuddled up to my baby and just breathed him in.

*Present day*

And now, well technically yesterday, he turned five. He spent his fifth birthday home sick, playing with lego’s, watching movies, and cuddling. We did have a party for him the day before but that will be another post.

Happy birthday ZigZag! Every day with you is an adventure – starting all the way back at day one!

*the following pictures courtesy of my brother*

 

 

 


Ten Day Challenge. Day 6.

So, way over on my facebook page a friend challenged me to a 10 day challenge. Normally I won’t do these things but this one piqued my interest. It’s a quite a bit different than your normal “challenges”. At least what’s considered normal for Facebook these day! :)

Here’s the rules:

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.

Day Two: Nine things about yourself.

Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.

Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.

Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.

Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)

Day Seven: Four turn offs.

Day Eight: Three turn ons.

Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.

Day Ten: One confession.

Here’s my Day 6 –

Five people who mean a lot:

1. Eman & ZigZag. Yes, I’m cheating and putting two very different people on the same answer. Mainly because they are equally important to me. Everything I do or don’t do is because of them and reflects on them in many ways.

2. My parents. Yes, another 2 for 1 answer. Regardless of the times we disagree, my parents are the only ones who’ve been there for me in everything. I may not always like (or even solicit) their advice but I know they love me and they only want what’s best.

3. My friends. Who keep me sane and drive me crazy all at once. Who remind me of who I am and encourage me to listen to God’s voice when everyone else’s voices are overwhelming.

4. My brother and his wife. My brother is one of the most perceptive, intuitive people I’ve ever known and I’ve learned the hard way to follow his suggestions. His wife is gorgeous and balances him very well and along with becoming a good friend she is my sister and I love them both!

5. My Jesus. And before you argue that He’s not real, or He died on a cross, or He lived thousands of years ago – let me just tell you He is as real as you or me if not more so. And if you don’t believe, I suggest you try getting to know him and then tell me just how real He is in your life.

 


ZigZag.

My 4 year old.

Has more energy in his little finger than I do in my entire being (or so it seems most days).

Has a smile that lights up the world.

Has a huge heart and loves to give hugs to everyone. He has, in fact, randomly walked up to people in Wal-Mart to hug them only to walk away and leave them with huge smiles on their faces. He is also the one whose teacher said she had to tell him he can’t just get up and hug her in the middle of class – not because it’s a bad thing but because every other child will do the same thing and all control will be lost.

Does things in his own timing but has an innate sense of the super important things. Including birth. My water broke around 8am, 4 weeks early. He waited until Grandma (my mom) got there, 15 hours later, to arrive. And it’s a good thing. He wasn’t breathing right and my mom, being a NICU nurse, worked with him when the other nurses walked away from him. She kept him from going to NICU and he was able to go home with me 2 days later.

I’m so very proud of him.

They are only little once.

I opted not to get school pictures this year. I don’t see the point since I’m a photographer. So, here’s ZigZag’s first ever school pictures.


Moments & Memories

The last few days have been full of such fun moments with my boys I can’t help but to share some of them.

ZigZag:

– Has a new word that sounds an awful lot like a curse word we’ve all heard before but it’s not. It’s really a contraction of the two words: “am” and “not” so it comes out as amn’t. And, he uses it in the context of “am not” but, man, that’s a habit I’m trying to break him of real fast!

– Grocery list making with ZigZag is hysterical!! It took me a couple of minutes to catch what exactly he was doing but once I did I couldn’t help but laugh! It went something like this. I told them that I was going to make a list and asked both boys if there was anything they wanted. As I’m going through the list ZigZag leans over and goes, “Mommy, how do you spell orange?” to which I replied, “o-r-a-n-g-e”. Then he said, “Okay. Write that down. How do you spell grape?”

– I’m not sure which child on ZigZag’s soccer team actually kicked the ball but one of them kicked it square in the referee’s “no strike zone”! There was literally a collective gasp from the crowd followed almost immediately by loads of laughter from not only the parents/families but the teams, coaches, and even the referee himself – after taking a couple of moments to breathe, of course!

E-man:

– I have never been more proud of my oldest son than I was Saturday morning. In the middle of his soccer game his coached yelled cause the team was kicking the ball the wrong direction and she was trying to get them to go the correct way. If you know anything about soccer, this was right after halftime and they’d just changed which goal they were aiming for. He started crying. Covered his face with his hands, sat down on the field. Crying. She walked over to him, asked for a time-out and talked to him. Basically gave him two choices: to quit and walk off the field or to dry it up and keep playing. (I’m paraphrasing here as I didn’t hear her conversation with him but was told the gist of it afterwards.) He chose to keep playing. And he played so very well! He made the right decision and it was a benefit to not only him but his team and I think he saw that.

– Cub Scouts. I really wish I could leave this one at that one phrase and have everyone know what I’m talking about but I know better. I have seen him so happy that’s he’s earned a badge and a belt loop in less than a week. And that was his doing. He’s the one who learned the necessary pledges, promises, activities, etc to earn these honors. And I can’t wait see him up in front of everyone next month at the pack meeting to receive those along with any other he earns in the next few weeks!

– I looked at him this week and saw just who he is inside. It’s amazing really! I keep learning my son over and over again. He’s this incredible, not-so-little person who has an entire personality all his own. I love when he frowns at me and then flashes that smile of his. Or when I can see that he’s learning the difference between acting and reacting.  He’s so very sweet. He loves being able to play and be with everyone but he also very much needs his downtime. He has such a sweet spirit and loved getting to stay up late last week to listen to Keith Moore preaching. And music. He’s so very talented  musically. I very much want to encourage that in him and not destroy it for him. There’s a very fine line there.

I know there’s so very much more I could add to this but these are the things that struck me this week.


Friday Favorites.

If you’re a Twitter user, more than likely you’re familiar with the tag #FF. Or, Friday Favorites. I’ll admit, it took me more than a few tries to figure it out but once I noticed the pattern (only happens on Friday’s) I got it.

I’ve also decided to do something similar with my blog. I’m going to list all of my favorite moments from the week (the ones I remember!). Those are things Twitter does not allow enough space for with the 140 character limit for me to go through and list.

So, no time like the present to start something!

My favorite moments from this week include:

Watching how excited E-man gets when he blows a bubble with bubble-gum!

Listening to ZigZag tell me just how sleepy he is in the mornings until I remind him that he gets to go to “big” school with E-man!

Having both boys cuddled up next to me reading Bible stories! (Really though, I can’t say no to them asking to read a Bible story.)

Peeking in on E-man long after his brother has fallen asleep only to see that he’s fallen asleep himself with his little lamp on and his Bible wide-open!

Watching ZigZag try to wink with his whole face scrunched up!

This weather has been amazing!

Just a few of my favorite things! I will try to keep a better list this coming week in order to give  a bit more details. I’m also going to try and add a few more features in order to be a little more motivated with updating.

Life has just been busy and that’s kind of an issue. Soccer 3 days a week – well 2 evenings/afternoons and 1 morning. Piano 1 evening a week plus any practice time at home. Not to mention E-man has homework nearly every weekday. Balance – that is my goal. And Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who give me strength”. To me, that means that I’ll be able to (with God’s help) balance life and keep up with what’s most important – my boys and teaching/showing them God’s love.


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